Best-Behaved Boy at Christmas Eve Mass: Luke, who was awake throughout it all and just stared placidly at folks around him.Â Three months old and he already gets a gold star for good conduct!
Second Best-Behaved Boy at Christmas Eve Mass: Matthew, who colored with crayons on the music program and heroically resisted doodling on the pews.
Most Beautiful Christmas Creche: This one, at church.Â Wintry and magical.Â Matthew could not get enough of it.
Second-Most Beautiful Christmas Creche: this one, on top of our TV armoire.Â My horrid photography does not do it justice.Â It was a gift from Scott last year.
The Wise Men and camel were surprise gifts this year (thanks, Honey!)Â No, the looming Victorian Christmas doll in the background is not an intentional part of the scene.Â I just haven’t figured out where else to put her.
My Favorite Moment from Christmas Eve: Matthew relaxing in front of the fire with a book after dinner.Â I crept up behind him and snapped this photo, now one of my very favorites.
He’s a bookish boy after my own heart.
Best Christmas Hair: The Diego doll that Matthew got from his Aunt Amy, Uncle Tim, and cousins.
Diego talks if you press on his chest.Â Matthew does so with both hands and with great vigor, as if administering CPR.
The Christmas Gift That Was a Roaring Hit with Both Sets of Grandparents: the Shutterfly photo books of their grandsons.Â I designed them little by little, a half-hour here and a half-hour there, over a period of nearly a month.Â I’d like to make it sound like some heroic sacrifice of time and energy, but in fact, I think creatingÂ these things is the most fun you can legally have (The layouts!Â The backgrounds! The colors!Â The fact that even an artistically-impaired soul like myself can produce something that looks darn good!).
The Best Unexpected Moment: when Santa made an appearance at the end of the Children’s Mass.Â He sounded, in his voice and phrasing and diction, quite a lot like Father Francis. (Not implying anything; just saying.)Â He announced that he was going to pay homage to the Baby Jesus in the creche, and he did.Â One does not often see Santa genuflect.Â It was pretty magical.